If nothing else, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be memorable.
The tournament, which kicks off on Nov. 20, is the first to be played in the Middle East, and also the first to take place during the winter months, due to the region’s scorching summer temperatures.
The 2022 edition will also be the last to feature 32 teams, as FIFA is set to expand the tournament to 48 countries in four years’ time. Additionally, this is likely the final chapter for a golden generation of players on the world stage, as Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (37 years old) and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (35) are nearing the end of their international careers.
While there are plenty of storylines to look forward to, we are here to help you pick out the best World Cup futures bet for the tournament winner, so let’s dig into the 2022 Qatar odds.
World Cup Winner Odds
World Cup odds are current as of Thursday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. EST at FanDuel Sportsbook.
- Brazil (+320)
- Argentina (+550)
- France (+700)
- Spain (+800)
- England (+800)
- Germany (+1200)
- Portugal (+1500)
- Netherlands (+1500)
- Belgium (+1700)
- Denmark (+2700)
- Uruguay (+3800)
- Croatia (+4900)
Brazil are the World Cup betting favorites, with arch-rivals Argentina and 2018 winners France following closely behind in the odds.
The cluster of teams at the top of the board means that oddsmakers believe there are nine nations with a legitimate chance of claiming the trophy, with a sizable gap separating them from dark-horse candidates like Denmark, Croatia, and Uruguay.
World Cup Winner Prediction
The history of the World Cup tells us that the continent of the host nation is usually a good indicator for finding the winner. Ten of the 11 editions hosted in Europe have been won by European sides, while four of the five tournaments that took place in South America have been won by teams from that region.
While we don’t have any data on the Middle East just yet, we do have data for the other five World Cups hosted outside of those two main footballing regions. Brazil has won three of the five, taking home the trophy in Mexico (1970), the U.S. (1994), and South Korea/Japan (2002).
This squad is certainly capable of accomplishing the same feat, as it is balanced from back to front and features a good mix of youth and experience. The center back pairing of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva is vastly experienced, and they are protected by one of the best holding midfielders in the world in Casemiro.
In the attacking third, manager Tite has endless options to choose from. Neymar (PSG) will likely occupy a central role up top, with the dynamic Vinícius Júnior (Real Madrid), and Antony (Manchester United) running the flanks.
If things don’t go well, having experienced Premier League talents in Richarlison, Gabriel Martinelli, and Gabriel Jesus to call off the bench isn’t a bad option.
The Brazilians rolled through CONMEBOL qualifying unbeaten, winning 14 of their 17 matches and putting 40 goals past their opponents while conceding just five. Brazil also has the benefit of a relatively easy draw. Dealing with just Cameroon, Serbia, and Switzerland before the Round of 16, Brazil sit as strong World Cup Group G odds favorites.
They are favored to win the tournament for a record sixth time for a reason.
World Cup Contenders
Wouldn’t this be quite the story?
This will almost surely be Lionel Messi’s last chance to win the World Cup, and after finally conquering Copa América, Argentina looks poised to make a true run at it after exiting in the Round of 16 to eventual champions France four years ago in Russia.
Manager Lionel Scaloni’s side enters the tournament on a 36-match unbeaten run, dating back to a 2019 loss to Brazil in the Copa América semifinals, which they avenged in the 2021 final in Rio. While that run is not certain to continue, we did see Italy capture Euro 2020 after putting together a 27-game unbeaten run leading into the tournament.
The flaws of Argentina teams of the past have been the defense and an over-reliance on Messi to produce. Both remain slight concerns, as center back Nicolás Otamendi’s best days are behind him, although Lisandro Martínez is a sturdy presence in the center of defense.
In the attacking third, Messi and Ángel Di María remain influential figures, with the latter scoring twice in a pre-tournament friendly on Wednesday against the UAE.
Argentina and Brazil will find themselves on the same side of the bracket if they both win their respective groups, but if that’s the case, it would be a surprise if neither reached the final.
The Dutch failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but have turned things around since manager Louis van Gaal took over for the third time. The side enters the tournament on a 15-match unbeaten run, which includes a pair of impressive Nations League wins over Belgium.
Van Gaal previously led the Netherlands to a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, going out in the semifinals to runners-up Argentina in a penalty shootout. He will be looking to do one better this time around with a squad that has standout talent throughout the spine.
Captain Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) anchors the defense, while Barcelona teammates Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay roam the central areas in the midfield and attack, respectively. You’ll also want to keep an eye on 23-year-old Cody Gakpo, a summer transfer target of multiple Premier League clubs, who could be one of the young breakout stars of the tournament.
A relatively easy setup in Group A with Qatar, Ecuador, and Senegal should allow the Netherlands to stroll into the knockout stages, where they could do some damage.
World Cup Sleeper
The Danes were the darlings of Euro 2020, rallying to reach the semifinals after enduring a gut-wrenching start to the tournament when star midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Miraculously, Eriksen not only lived but also scored a goal within two minutes of his first national team appearance after the incident, just nine months removed from his heart stopping during play.
Denmark cruised through World Cup qualification and beat a full-strength France side 2-0 in their final Nations League tune-up. The two nations will meet again in Group D play, with Australia and Tunisia making up the rest of their opening-round opposition.
This is a resilient squad with a strong defensive backbone that can make some noise if they get a few bounces to go their way. A lack of goals could be the downfall, but if you’re going to take a chance on a squad beyond 15-1 odds, this is the one.
USMNT World Cup Outlook
If you’re looking to bet on the United States to win the World Cup, it is probably in your best interest to wait four more years. This tournament was always going to be a stepping stone to the 2026 edition that the U.S., Mexico, and Canada will host.
If the U.S. going to win a World Cup in the near future, that’s the one.
With that said, it’s hard to know what to expect from the Americans in this tournament. Gregg Berhalter’s squad hasn’t played to its potential in recent months, losing a September friendly to Japan and drawing 0-0 with Saudi Arabia.
Star winger Christian Pulisic hasn’t been getting consistent minutes at Chelsea, and the central striker position continues to be a big problem. Whether the No. 9 is Jesús Ferreira, Josh Sargent, or Haji Wright, it’s hard to trust the U.S. will finish off the chances they create.
The selection headaches for Berhalter don’t stop there. Will the U.S. manager pick the 11 best players, even if that means a midfielder like Brenden Aaronson plays on the wing? Who will the center-back pairing be in front of goalkeeper Matt Turner? These key questions will define the Americans’ chances of success.
And given the squad’s complete lack of experience on the World Cup stage, it’s hard to imagine the U.S. making a deep run in this tournament if they escape an intriguing Group B, which also features England, Wales, and Iran.
If you’re looking for a good value bet, take the U.S. to win that group as the price has dipped due to recent performances.